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    • Thread Starter

    Hey, anyone did A- level psychology? I've taken it because i like the idea of being able to observe people's behaviour etc. but i really don't know that much about it, and i haven't been given any information. Can someone explain in detail what it's all about? and what kind of people would enjoy it? (eg. what you need to be good at etc.) i can still change my mind before september i think so please help!

    it depends on the exam board but i did AQA A. In my first year we did memory and attachments (how long u can store things in ur short term memory, how much etc. and attachments between parents and children and if theres an age where u cant form attachments etc.), conformity and research methods, stress and abnormality (effects of stress on body, mind etc. and stuff like eating disorders and other 'abnormalities' in different cultures).

    In my second year we did coursework and pro and anti social behaviour, intelligence, evolutionary theories, approaches, mental illnesses, ethical issues, bias etc

    Hope this all helps!

    What is Psychology?

    Simply, the study of behaviour/ the science of behaviour. Basically during the AS/A level course you will learn about various different approaches that psychologists have taken to study the mind and how we generate behaviour. Depending on what course you will be doing you will look at the Psychoanalytic approach (Freud, Erikson etc), Behaviourist approach, cognitive approach, humanistic approach and in your second year of study you will probably do the Biological approach. So with the biological approach you would benefit if you could grasp the 'science' behind it, so to speak, as it focuses on the way nerve impulses are transmitted, hormones, brain structure, the nervous system. I was alright with this as I also did biology and so that helped but many people in my class didn't do biology, some found it hard some didnt, I guess it would depend on you.
    Each of these approaches could then be adapted to various situations that you will learn about e.g. the reasoning behind post traumatic stress disorder, obsessive complusive disorders, phobias, generalised anxiety disorders, eating disorders, depression, schizophrenia from each of the perspectives (approaches). You will learn about various studies that have been conducted to gather evidence and will need to remember the names of psychologists etc. You will also conduct your own investigations for coursework and you will need to know the methodology behind it for the exam as well.
    Depending on your course you will also look at various other areas e.g. memory, forgetting, perception, attention and all the proposed theories/evidence etc for each.
    There are also the areas of child development which looks at the proposed stages of development from various psychologists.

    Basically, there are a large number of areas that you will look into, it really depends on the structure of the course you will be taking and also it would depend on the topics that your school decided to teach. It is an interesting course and you will find out a lot about a variety of different topics. If gives you a large number of skills that can be attapted e.g. analytical skills, communication, essay writing.

    I wouldn't class it as a 'doss' subject either as there is a large about of information that you need to learn and also it does still incorporate biology and statistics. In saying that, it is still very enjoyable.

    As for the type of person that will enjoy it, I would have to say anyone! I'm trying to think of all the people that were in my class or that I met at open days etc and really there is such a diverse mix of people that do it. As I said it would help if you could grasp the biological side of things, had mathematical ability, could think critically and analyse/evaluate results and investigations. I think anyone would enjoy doing it really as it is informative and interesting.

    I hope I have helped, if not and you have any questions then just ask!
    • Thread Starter

    Thanks! that really helped! i like the sound of the biology parts as i'm doing biology next year and i'm quite confident on it.
    do you need gd english skills? i'm predicted AA for GCSE english but i have to admit, when it comes to reading non- fiction/ formal text, i often can't fully or quickly comprehend. I'm doing Maths mechanics, not statistics, would that give me a disadvantage?

    not at all! I don't do any maths, its really not a lot of maths! just one section on the analysis of results, you don't need good english skills either, I mean you need english skills but just to the same extent as you would in biology!

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